PWR BTTM, Lisa Prank & Boyfriends
Live @ The Vera Project
January 22, 2016
Words & photos by Gary Horn
The Vera Project, a nondescript all-ages venue on the Seattle Center grounds, played host to a gender-agnostic, sexually-flexible lineup and audience at the start of the year. It was a show about music but also a celebration/acceptance of all lifestyles.
First on stage was #41for2016 band Boyfriends (pictured above), a “60% Late New York Club Rock and 40% Decadent Pop” band whose live show delivers a house-party feel. Their sound is infectious and you can’t help but notice the applause level increasing after every song. Michael McKinney (vocalist) does a good job of moving both himself (and his mic stand) around on stage, keeping the crowd of twenty-something’s entertained throughout. The band even takes a mid-set break to generously misapply their lipstick, giving the crowd a good laugh.
Second in the lineup was Lisa Prank, i.e. Robin Edwards of Gutless (direct) and Childbirth (indirect) fame, among others. Edwards takes the stage in a green sequined dress, yellow “Prank” tiara and large, hand-shaped/handcut paper earrings. Self-described as “babysitter punk,” Prank extracts just about everything that’s possible from a simple guitar and drum machine combo. These are enjoyable, sing-a-long tunes…ones that you’d expect to be on a teen comedy soundtrack. It’s a highly entertaining performance that’s whole-heartedly supported by the Seattle girl band scene.
Headliner PWR BTTM had been touring across the U.S. all the way from Hudson, New York. Ben Hopkins (guitar/vocals), Liv Bruce (drums/vocals) comprise the bulk of the band with Nicholas Cummins supporting on bass. Their music is strong and celebratory. Their songs feature a lot of power chords, but are shifting and unpredictable with traces of punk and even ska. The material is well written, but you can tell it’s their performances that make them so popular. Hopkins and Bruce are damn funny guys and entertain the crowd with anecdotes/opinions delivered in a playful, yet humble way.